IN THE BARN
The change of ownership proved a bit of a challenge, as the ’33 Tudor was the nephew’s last connection with his beloved uncle. But after five months of negotiations, cash changed hands, and Miller towed his treasure home. The odometer showed only 51,243 miles.
“I believe that everything on the car was original, except the tires,” he wrote in Cotter’s book. Besides a missing radiator cap and air filter, he had unearthed one of the most complete and original 1933 Fords in the world. He also noticed the sheetmetal was very straight, though the fenders had minor dings, likely suffered during the 40-year storage. Since the flathead V8 turned freely, Miller decided to get it running, a task he accomplished easily. However, the engine quickly started to overheat, as rust trapped in the block broke loose, clogging the radiator.
The next chapter of the saga began when Tom Miller sold the sedan to a Ford Motor Company engineer. His plans called for a street rod treatment, resulting in a few original components being parted out (and some put on the market): wheels, spare tire mount and cover, locking hubcap, wiring, wiper motor, firewall insulator, engine, transmission, brakes, and more. In the meantime, other pieces of the puzzle joined his garage, such as a supercharged flathead V8, a ’39 Ford gearbox, a torque tube overdrive, late Ford rear axles, a modern wiring setup, an electric wiper, electronic gauges, aftermarket spindles, and a hydraulic brake system.
Several shops became involved in the vehicle’s resurrection, but the project did not turn out the way the owner wanted. Work soon stalled, hence the decision to sell the uncompleted sedan. Wellknown hot rodder Paul Gommi found out about it through the Early Ford V8 Club and quickly sealed the deal, being fully aware that prewar Fords with original paint and interior can be extremely difficult to locate.
> Paul Gommi achieved his sedan’s nose-down attitude by using a 4-inch dropped axle made in the 1950s, complemented with a series of new-old-stock components such as a 1933 spring. Gommi not only rebuilt the front end, but also the ’40 Lincoln brakes, front and aft.
> Author Tom Cotter wrote an extensive chapter about the discovery of this very car in his book, The Cobra in the Barn. Paul Gommi fell in love with the Tudor’s original paint and interior, “which is impossible to find these days,” he says.
> Stromberg 97s with Edmunds air filters sit atop a S.CO.T. supercharger, equipped with a ’33 Ford fan thanks to a custom pulley designed by Gommi and machined by Tom Taros.